Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 18 April 1985
Page: 1443

Mr SNOW(8.34) —In welcoming back to this House my former pharmaceutical colleague, the honourable member for Petrie (Mr Hodges), I ask him how members of the once great Liberal Party, decimated by the Queensland Premier's gerrymandering and political chicanery, and now the Queensland rump, can become apologists for the National Party's inexorable climb to political dictatorship. The Queensland Premier is not satisfied with overturning the legitimate powers of ordinary trade union members. We now see on our television sets blood pouring in the streets and all the methods of Hitler's storm troopers being used in a State of Australia. The basis principles of humanity are being disregarded. The day after the Premier of Queensland got into Parliament, he must have drawn red circles around a quarter of his Bible, ignored another quarter and torn out the rest of it. I ask honourable members opposite: Who gets more pay-the electricity worker or the procedural specialist? The electricity worker or the Queensland Premier? The electricity worker or the directors of the allegedly oppressed 41 corporations against whom action is being taken? When the Queensland electricity workers have something like one-quarter of the income of these people, then we can start to listen to this talk of unions running the country.

I turn from Queensland to Queanbeyan in this debate tonight on the Appropriation Bills. Just this morning the Minister for Health (Dr Blewett) handed over an $18,000 grant prior to the commencement in Queanbeyan of a new program for youth. In support of International Youth Year and through support and funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health, the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Sports Medicine Federation, a course has been offered nationally to unemployed youth. This morning the Minister for Health handed over a grant for a program in Queanbeyan run by the Queanbeyan youth support scheme. Other cities included in this unique youth project are Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. This community-based program was developed by the national sports trainers' co-ordinator, Chris Wildgen, with special assistance from Dr Hobbs, Dr Malouf and Dr Threlfall. The course will be the nationally accredited Australian Sports Medicine Federation level 1 sports trainers' course. It will use sports medicine as a means to involve youth to communicate information on the basic principles of sports medicine. It will use the sporting image as a means of integrating youth into the community. The objectives are to provide a lifetime skill to the participants, allowing then to become involved in community activities through sport. It will also increase safer participation in sport by educating those who are keen to learn the skills and willing to dedicate their efforts to be of service to a sporting club or team.

The Sports Medicine Federation has developed the Australian sports trainers' scheme with Beiresdorf sponsorship. This is a program designed to equip the participants with a sound knowledge of the basic principles of sports medicine. The scheme aims to promote the learning of skills in immediate first aid treatment and the prevention of injuries. The main subjects in level 1 of the course are the role of the sports trainer, the structure and function of the body, taping, prevention of injury, diet, fluid and drugs in sport, and immediate treatment of injury. The skills gained in the course will develop a confident attitude towards prevention and immediate management of commonly occurring sports and recreational injuries. The skills will provide knowledge of basic preventative sports medicine and an understanding of post-injury management. The successful participants in this course will receive national Australian Sports Medicine Federation level 1 accreditation. The Canberra-Queanbeyan sub-region, particularly Queanbeyan, with its high proportion of homeless youth, is a very suitable area for this program, and the Queanbeyan community youth support scheme is participating in that program.

I wish to refer to a new measure by the Government to boost country roads programs. Australian roads will soon show the benefit of record levels of Federal road funding. The new Australian land transport program announced recently by the Federal Government will bring road funding in 1985-86 to a record $1,250m, comprising $810m from the new program and $440 million from the Australian bicentennial road development program. The new program, starting with $810m, will be indexed annually in line with the consumer price index to maintain real value. It will extend for five years to provide continuity for the purposes of planning and investment by road construction authorities and industry. The new program will be based on a set share of fuel excise of about 3.8 cents per litre which, when added to the ABRD levy, brings the total to almost 6 cents per litre. Of the record $1,250m, almost $930m will be spent in country areas. This will mean better roads for the country and the maintenance of record levels of jobs. Local government will receive a 5 per cent increase under the program; so it will maintain its record level of grants. National highways will also be maintained in real terms under this Australian land transport program.

Country people rely on road transport for both social and economic reasons. In my nearby electorate of Eden-Monaro there are real social and economic problems, and governments often do not recognise what a social problem bad roads are. People in cities particularly fail to recognise this point. In my electorate in the past year people have been unable to get to hospital and they have been unable to reach their doctors. Children have been unable to reach their schools day after day because of floods and other unsatisfactory road conditions. Better roads and an expanded all-weather system will reduce isolation and provide more reliable access to country centres and facilities. The Australian land transport program is an innovative and comprehensive approach to road funding. Despite a difficult budgetary environment the Government is determined to maintain the high level of funding which was established by the Hawke Labor Government in 1983. I believe the Government's national programs are going to benefit the country areas, and this is already being shown.

Following a Search Conference on feral animal control in 1983 the Federal Government established a pilot program for feral animal control. That Conference was held at Snowy Station, Dalgety and was convened by me. For honourable members' benefit the aim of a Search Conference is to help a group of people who are more or less in conflict to work effectively together on a common task. In this case the task was the control of feral animals and people with a full range of values relevant to the task in question got together. They included people from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, from the wild dog boards, from government departments and from farming areas, both official and local farmers. (Quorum formed)

Before the quorum was called I was speaking about the important program of feral animal control. The feral animal program, which followed from that very important Search Conference which I organised at Snowy Station, Dalgety, in 1983, resulted in a number of very important measures being taken by government. One of them was the establishment of a pilot program in feral animal control, instituted by the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Kerin), an outstanding Minister, who made funds available for feral pig control in the region.

Mr Cohen —He has done for feral animals what Colonel Sanders did for the chicken.

Mr SNOW —He has done for feral animals what Colonel Sanders did for the chicken. On the eastern escarpment between the Monaro and Southern Tablelands and the south coast of New South Wales feral pigs have populated the area in vastly increasing numbers. The program that has been set up by the Minister I believe will establish a method of feral animal control which will prevent the devastation of rural communities and the ruination of the rural economy, which will result from any drop in exports caused by the spreading of exotic diseases by feral pigs. Another result from that Conference was the decision of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service to negotiate with local farmers for the provision of electric fencing. The National Parks and Wildlife Service provided the fencing material and local farmers provided the labour and maintenance of the fences. Since then problems have developed in both fields. There has been an escalation in the number of feral pigs and there have been problems between the National Parks and Wildlife Service and farmers. For those reasons another conference has been convened by me on 2 and 3 May this year. Honourable members and others who are interested will be most welcome to come.

I do not know whether honourable members have heard of the electronic scarecrow. The electronic scarecrow acts as a deterrent to most land and flying creatures, resulting from an emission of intense acoustic airwaves that affect muscular and skeletal structures but do not harm the animal. This will be exhibited at the field day in conjunction with the feral animal Search Conference. The Department of Agriculture will be demonstrating and talking on the use of 1080 poison and there will be exhibitions of electric fencing and other features as well as animals on show, including wild dogs, dingoes and wild boars. Col Hunt of Nimmitabel and Mr Graham Blinksell of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service have contributed to this day and I thank them for their assistance. I believe it will again result in a furthering of the pilot program for feral animal control set up by this Federal Government.

These Appropriation Bills are vital to the future of the Australian Government's programs. I believe that the record of this Government is shown through the reduction in inflation which resulted not only from sound economic policies, such as the deregulation of the dollar, but also in investment in programs which pay for themselves. Tonight I have talked about them: Feral animal control, investment in roads, investment in youth, particularly the training of unemployed youth, and sports medicine.